HotSpot Pick: Top 5 Chicago Festivals in August 2017

Summer is coming to an end, but there’s never a shortage of festivals in Chicago! Here’s our 5 favorite for the month of August!

Photo courtesy of Shedd Aquarium

Jazzin’ at the Shedd

The Shedd Aquarium comes to life every Wednesday evening in August with Jazzin’ at the Shedd, an aquatic celebration for kids and adults. Cool down with a cold one and live jazz while hanging out with 32,000 animals. Enjoy happy hour, touch stingrays, and visit the Shedd Aquarium Wild Reef to take a shoreline cruise.

Located in the South Loop on the museum campus, The Shedd Aquarium is the first inland aquarium with both saltwater and freshwater habitats.

A few details:

  • August 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30

  • 5-10pm

  • Admission $19.95 for Chicago residents (children 3-11 are $14.95)

Go to the Shedd Aquarium website for more info.

Photo courtesy of MCA

Tuesdays on the Terrace at Museum of Contemporary Art

Streeterville’s Museum of Contemporary Art is host to Tuesdays on the Terrace, a collection of dance, live art, music, theatre, screenings, and workshops – all while you munch out on food from the outdoor grill or get your fill at the buffet (for a fee).

Kick back to performances by the Chicago jazz community that include: Dee Alexander, Pharez Whitted, Twin Talk, Xavier Breaker Coalition and Rajiv Halim.

Here are the particulars:

  • August 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
  • 5:30 – 8pm
  • FREE ADMISSION: Tuesdays are always free for Illinois residents!

More information, including the lineup, is available here.


The annual Lollapalooza music festival is one of Chicago’s most well-known summer events.

Located at Grant Park in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, this music extravaganza features more than 170 bands across eight stages over four days. The music selection is vast, with popular punk rock, hip hop, alternative rock, heavy metal and electronic music artists all being showcased. There’s a brand of music for everyone.

A few more details:

Find out about pre-registration, purchasing tickets and the dozens of after parties by visiting the Lollapalooza website.

Photo courtesy of Chicago Air & Water Show

Chicago Air and Water Show

Head down to the lakefront for the 59th Chicago Air and Water Show on August 19-20 for the largest FREE SHOW of its kind in the United States!

See air performances by the Blue Angels, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and much more. North Avenue Beach, in River North, is the center of the action, but just about anywhere along the lakeshore from Fullerton to Oak Street will keep you mesmerized.

Here’s the scoop:

  • 10 am – 3 pm both Saturday and Sunday

For the complete lineup or for more information, visit the City of Chicago website.

Photo Courtesy of Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

The Chicago Jazz Festival is another free concert to enjoy in August.

Since 1979, the Chicago Jazz Festival has been celebrating the beauty and art of Jazz music. Free, high quality lives performances turn Chicago’s Millennium Park into the perfect Labor Day event for fans of all ages.

Talented local, national and international jazz performers combine with a special highlight tribute to Chicago writer, Carl Sandburg, and a 90th birthday celebration for local legend, guitarist George Freeman.

Details include:

  • August 31 – September 3
  • FREE ADMISSION for everyone
  • Located at the Cultural Center in Millennium Park (the Loop)

Click here to tune into the complete schedule and to find additional details.

Last Call

Don’t let summer pass you by without taking advantage of the Chicago festivals in August. If all of this entertainment inspires you to check out a new downtown Chicago apartment, drop me a line at, or check us out at Enjoy the festival season!